So, let’s talk about some myths that people hold often regarding autoimmune disease. I found an interesting paper online, ‘You will eventually get better.’ Well, that doesn’t really happen with autoimmune disease. Most people don’t usually get 100% better. They’ll improve, but they won’t get fully well. So, many people have this assumption that, “Just get on with your lives, you’ll get over it. Don’t worry about it, it’s just a cold or a cough and you’ll get better.” But it doesn’t. That’s a myth. And most people don’t fully recover from autoimmune disease.
Some people have this other assumption that when you got autoimmune disease, you’ve actually got no immune system because it’s attacking itself, therefore it’s broken, it’s not working properly. Well, it is working properly, but it’s working sort of properly. But in this case, instead of attacking what it should be attacking, it’s attacking you, so it is working, but it’s working in the wrong way. So it doesn’t mean to say you haven’t got an immune system, it means you’ve got a dysfunctional one. It’s not working the way it intended to work.
If you look okay, you must be feeling a lot better. So, a lot of people judge someone’s health just by looking at them saying, “Well, you look all right, you can’t be sick.” Some of the sickest people I’ve seen are the ones actually who don’t look ill at all. So, don’t have that misconception. Just because someone looks okay, they’re not unwell, because it’s impossible to pick with autoimmunity.
Your illness will go away if you lose weight, you’re too fat, you’ve just got to lose weight. It doesn’t work like that with autoimmunity. Autoimmunity can strike you, whether you’re skinny or fat, or it doesn’t really discriminate. But, bigger people are more prone to autoimmune disease than smaller people though.
Being on medication means your symptoms are totally under control. That’s not true. Most people with autoimmune disease have got very poorly controlled symptoms, in fact with medications. And that’s what I’m saying, you haven’t got much to lose, you might as well go and see an integrative doctor or a naturopathic doctor for that reason. Because you’re probably not going to get a lot of satisfaction by going down the medical route. But, if you’ve been down that and you’re not satisfied, go somewhere else. But I could tell you the medications don’t always work really well, and in many cases people still suffer sort of partially with the pain and problem, and in worse case scenario, the pain’s still there, partially controlled, but now side effects being created, which is countered by another drug.
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If you’re under a certain age, you’re too young to have autoimmune disease, but if you’re over a certain age, the symptoms are just part of getting older. Oh. Come on. I mean, autoimmune disease can strike any age, a baby up to elderly person. Many elderly people I know are in perfect health even in their nineties with no disease. So, being older does not necessarily imply you’re going to get autoimmune disease. Nor is it being very young. You can get it at any age.
What are you complaining about? Staying home is fun and relaxing. Well, it’s not fun for an autoimmune patient. These people can cry and have a lot of fatigue and be in a tremendous amount of pain. So, sitting there, binge watching Netflix series on TV all day, is not a lot of fun if you’ve got autoimmune disease. Just because someone looks okay and they’re at home, it doesn’t mean to say they’re having a ball of a time. They probably feeling like crap.
You must not be that sick if you are able to do X, Y, Z. So, this is another common misconception, that many people are doing things, but if they’re that sick, they shouldn’t be doing things at all. When you get something like rheumatoid arthritis or Hashimoto’s syndrome, you tend to be, what I call, the walking wounded. So, you have a sub-standard quality of life and you work around that sub-standard quality, meaning you can still do things. It doesn’t mean to say you’re a cripple. And many people try their hardest to do things in spite of the pain. But other people will say, “Come on, if you can do that, you can hold down a 40 hour a week job.” So, don’t be hard on people with autoimmune disease.
You must be contagious. Autoimmune disease is not contagious. You don’t pass it from one to another. It doesn’t jump on people like fleas jump on people, or people jump on furniture kind of thing. So, it doesn’t jump. You develop it through a complex series, in a series of interactions in the body.
If you just exercise, it’ll cure your disease. No, it doesn’t work like that. Doing a yoga class, going to the gym, it’s not going to get rid of the autoimmune disease.
You can’t be super sick today if you were feeling great yesterday. Well, many people with autoimmune disease will have condition where they go up and down. So, some days they’ll feel better, other days they’ll feel worse, and some days they want to be in bed with the covers pulled over their head because they feel like crap. So, be careful of judging a person with autoimmune disease.
There you have it. These are myths. So, the disease stays, it doesn’t disappear completely from a person. A person can have varying symptoms depending on what stage of the disease they’re in. Medications don’t always work. They often suffer in silence. So, that’s autoimmune disease.